Just as we did last year, we got to visit SPOGA Horse Autumn at the beginning of September. The biggest trade fair for retailers and brands in the world for the Equestrian sport. We got invited last year by Spooks and this year, we got invited by 4 of our brands!
Every year, the experience has been different. Always a good different. This year, it was very influenced by needs more than cosmetic. It wasn't so much about the looks but practicality. Equestrians are wanting items to be more and more durable, to withstand a natural disaster for example. Boots with gel lining for cooling muscles, titanium edging, carbon fibre etc
Back pads that pinpoint heatspots under saddle, whilst you're riding so you can see where and why the saddle isn't adequate. It connects to your laptop, tablet etc.
Lots of products that had you in awe, others that had you wondering what they were on to create such mad things! Honestly, the Equestrian world is quite creative.
I do find it a little stressful - I have to guess what will be in and out with our customers next year. You ask yourself questions like ''Will orange be in?'' ''Will brown jackets be too much?''. It can be quite hard to guess and hope you have it right as all your personal tastes go out the window. I am effectively choosing items to suit every customer that walks through our door or visits the website. That can be quite tricky to satisfy everyone.
This year, my other half came up with a fabulous way of asking everyones opinions WHILST I was ordering all of the stock! He uploaded the photos as quickly as he could get them and published them on Facebook to ask what people thought! We managed to get a very good idea as to what people wanted for next years Winter and Spring Catalogues.
Still, I wouldn't change it for the world. Despite the stresses, it does make you realise how much I adore my job.
I most certainly look forward to next year, and to receiving all the new stock to show you all!